The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced recently the inauguration of the Olympic Virtual Series (OVS), the first Olympic-licensed event for physical and non-physical virtual sports.
The Olympic Virtual Series will start on May 13, continuing through to 23 June 23, 2021, the IOC’s vision is to mobilize virtual sport, esports, and gaming enthusiasts all around the world in order to reach new Olympic audiences. The OVS allows participants around the world to compete from home or their training facilities.
The IOC will partner with five International Sports Federations and game publishers to produce the OVS:
- World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) — eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020, Konami
- Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) — Zwift, Zwift Inc.
- World Rowing — Open format
- World Sailing — Virtual Regatta, Virtual Regatta SAS
- Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) — Gran Turismo Sports, Polyphony Digital
The OVS is looking to create a connection between the physical sporting world with the virtual and simulation sports gaming community, providing an opportunity to engage with the Olympic Movement. Each OVS event will aim to maximize online mass participation and prioritize inclusivity.
“The Olympic Virtual Series is a new, unique Olympic digital experience that aims to grow direct engagement with new audiences in the field of virtual sports,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Its conception is in line with Olympic Agenda 2020+5 and the IOC’s digital strategy. It encourages sports participation and promotes the Olympic values with a special focus on youth.”
By building this bridge between virtual sports and traditional sports, the IOC is aiming to expand its activities to engage fans, the virtual sports community, players, and partners.
All five OVS events will differ in form and concept and will operate via the sport’s respective publisher platform, additional information on how to participate, as well as prizes included, will be shared in the future.